‘Minamata’ Trailer: Johnny Depp’s Long-Delayed Eugene Smith Drama Arrives Next Week

It’s funny how Harry Potter stuff seems to pop up when there’s news about Johnny Depp. I’m not saying it’s a coordinated effort by ANYONE, but today is not the first time. So shortly after a new Fantastic Beasts 3 trailer, y’know, the mega-franchise Depp was booted from, we also get a trailer for Depp’s long-delayed drama Minamata, which is finally opening next week.

Originally having premiered in Berlin last year, Minamata stars Depp as Life magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith, who captured the devastating effects of mercury poisoning on the people of Minamata, Japan, and face the corrupt government that is allowing it to happen.

The film’s release was repeatedly pulled by MGM, leading director Andrew Levitas to accuse the studio of deliberately burying it because of Depp’s trashed public image. Ultimately, MGM sold the rights to Samuel Goldwyn Films who plan to release Minamata on December 15th.

With the glory days of World War II far behind him W. Eugene Smith (Depp) has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. But an old friend and a commission from “Life Magazine” editor (Nighy) convinces him to journey back to Japan to expose a big story: the devastating annihilation of a coastal community, victims of corporate greed and complicit local police and government. Armed with only his trusted camera, Smith must gain the trust of this struggling community and find the images that will bring the story to the World. The victims’ case against the corporation responsible for this environmental disaster represents one of the biggest payouts of all time, with present day sufferers of Minamata disease still in court today seeking compensation. Production has spent time in Minamata meeting some of the victims and their families and the film is being made with their support.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.